Live ants as food.

Stan510

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When they started to swarm all over some shrimp food I forgot to put away,I got the idea to try and feed them to my fish. The Danios and Rasboras went crazy for them. Large Rainbows didn't really notice them. But,It was interesting to watch the trout like Giant Danios hit the surface in a frenzy of feeding.
Out here the tiny Argentine ant is a menace..especially now looking for any water in our very long dry season. I can't say I would make it a habit..but on occasion,I've left out something near ant trails outdoors and ran in to dip the bowl (minus rotting whatever) in to the tank.
Its summer,why not?
 

Retired Viking

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Early this summer when we had a very long dry spell those tiny little brown ants we refer to as "piss ants" came though an open window and were going up the side of my 55 gallon tank and down the air line to the water and taking water. Freaked out my wife. My tetras had a great time eating them as I brushed them into the tank. :devil:
 
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Stan510

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I put the cat food down out of harm's way and the other half..decided to move it outside and later I saw it had been covered in dark syrup- oops- those are ants.
So ,big fish feeding today. I will say this..all the small species of fish love eating them..larger won't touch them. Must be an adaptation that young Rainbows go at them..larger 3"+(still kind of slender smaller sized) ignore them.
 

Colin_T

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In the wild, ants form a major part of the rainbowfish diet in some areas.

You can use ants, ant eggs, termites and their eggs, small flies, mozzies, mozzie larvae, small moths, aphids and most small non toxic insects that haven't been sprayed.
 
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Stan510

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Danio's go crazy for them. Rasboras like them. I really couldn't tell if any ants made it down to the level of Snakeskin barbs. The above mentioned fish were like in a true feeding frenzy.
I've tasted those ants by accident long ago in my days of being single...I did something (can't remember the exact circumstances) and took one bite or drink not knowing of course they had infested the food, and they tasted hot and terrible..hot like peppers,bitter tasting. You would have to be a fish I guess to consider raw Argentine ants as edible.
 

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Happy day...in another life I did the mosquito larve thing in the house. I know I posted about that earlier, but man, it caused all sorts of ruckus when they stopped being larve, let me tell you.

A few years ago I tried the ant thing. I thought I was pretty crafty in luring the ants into a trap made of coconut fiber. I thought I was pretty smart in shaking them all out into a glass vase. I thought the Goyder River Rainbows would eat them for dinner and as a midnight snack, so I dumped a fair-sized portion...say...a tumbler glass full of them (not packed down). After watching for a moment, I left. I mean, I often feed the fish and get on with the night, right? And it was at that precise moment that a series of unfortunate events occurred.

1. My wife noted, somewhat stridently, that I had used a Lalique vase her dead grandmother gave to us for our wedding. Well, she was alive when she gave it to us, but the Lesson Learned is that just because it looks and feels like glass doesn't mean it should be used like glass, and certainly not for transporting wildlife. Or holding flowers. The thing was so damn dusty and I didn't want the fish or ants harmed by the dust. I mean, if it was so important, why was it stuffed in the back of the cupboard like that?

2. It seems that ants float and, when given duckweed and red root floaters and stuff to cling to, are able to not be eaten by fish. They also ball together and trap oxygen while they swim to said plants or, as luck would have it, an airline hose conveniently placed and serviceable as an escape route.

3. Did you know that dark blue carpets with small red color blotches make for an excellent background against which ants can hide in plain site? Marvelous bit of camouflage, really. And you know what kind of ants we apparently have in Florida that hide very well against that background? I will give you two hints. It is red and rhymes with "ire."

4. I am not so neat when it comes to feeding flake and stuff, and over the years, a bit of food and muck has gathered on the carpet at the edge of the stand, which is where the fire ants went, because who says no to a free buffet? So in the morning when I went to see how fat and happy my fish were, I discovered that they were not fat, and in fact felt somewhat cheated by the whole experience. And while I busy nudging stuff around on the surface, looking for the ants that did not make my Goyders fat and happy, I felt....something. On a toe. So I did what humans always do, which is to use the opposing heel to rub it while getting on with the ant hunt.

5. It was around this time that the startled screaming started. The memory is somewhat hazy, but it started out with "Ow what the %^*@!" This was followed by an amazing display of calisthenics for a man rocking the dad-bod. Even Jackie Chan would have been impressed. Heck, I bet I moved with slightly less grace and elegance that a grebe mating dance.

6. Did you know that screaming is an attractant? I attracted a wife, who screamed, and a son, who screamed less, and then attracted a whole lot of banging shoes and noxious sprays and finally attracted a professional exterminator. I even attracted a bit of a medical bill, because an ensuing lump on my toe needed to be dealt with rather firmly, and harshly. Now that I think about it, people who cut things off of other people seem to take a certain amount of glee at their jobs. Historically they worked for religious institutions and had fancy titles like Grand Vizier, but I'm pretty sure they are now called dermatologists.

Sigh. So there you have it. If you do use live foods, just think a bit down the timeline as to what happens after you think the fish are going to be fat and happy.
 
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Stan510

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I did try mosquitoes also of course..after decades its common to see anything that might make great fish food worth a try. The main problem is that between harvests out of tanks kept outside..at night,in the house you hear bzzzz in the dark. Daphnia..never could grow enough to make a difference. Like you noted Wives hate "things" like live fish foods..outside or even in the fridge.
Brine shrimp was my staple back when. Now,it's gotten pricy. Maybe something new to try will come along.
 

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I still have one plastic bag with frozen mosquitoes larvae left in my freezer, My wife is not happy about it but I keep it sealed and tucked away in the back where she can not see it. :devil:
 

Sgooosh

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In the wild, ants form a major part of the rainbowfish diet in some areas.

You can use ants, ant eggs, termites and their eggs, small flies, mozzies, mozzie larvae, small moths, aphids and most small non toxic insects that haven't been sprayed.
back then in the summer my dads chiclids would eat the mosquitoes that fell in the water....
 

DAnCSF

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I saw at a local Petco...a bottle of wingless fruit flies...it's too bad brine shrimp go to be so expensive...and hard to get.
 

Colin_T

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I saw at a local Petco...a bottle of wingless fruit flies...it's too bad brine shrimp go to be so expensive...and hard to get.
You can breed wingless fruit flies, and buy them from a university or online.

Buy dry brineshrimp eggs and hatch your own. Most fish will quite happily eat newly hatched brineshrimp and it is more nutritious than adult brineshrimp.

You can also culture Daphnia and Rotifers at home in plastic storage containers kept outside.
 
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